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Hello from Omar Salaymeh—Bonfire’s new CEO

May 3, 2021 | Omar Salaymeh

Headshot of Bonfire CEO Omar Salaymeh

As employee #3—and then Chief Client and Product Officer—at Bonfire, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside hundreds of public agencies across North America to achieve a procurement process that serves their agency and their constituents better. So it’s an honor to publicly announce that I will be stepping into the role of CEO at Bonfire. 

I was exposed to the world of public procurement early in my career. I worked at an engineering firm and our main clients were cities, school districts, and universities—which means we competed for almost every one of our contracts.

Whether it’s waiting for weeks to get a debrief on a lost RFP, spending half a day near the printer assembling multiple copies of proposals, or having to borrow a dolly from our maintenance staff to wheel multiple bankers boxes of paper to be shipped—I had direct experience with the pain points experienced as a vendor.

That early exposure to the world of public procurement is what motivated me to join Bonfire almost a decade ago. As I saw a demo of the product for the first time, I witnessed solutions to the challenges I had experienced as a vendor—streamlined operational tasks, better alignment and collaboration throughout the process, and a radically improved vendor experience that no longer had me lugging paper files to city hall. At the time Bonfire had a deep focus on the RFP evaluation part of the process, and as far as we could tell, was the only solution on the market focused on digitally transforming both the RFP submission and evaluation process. We always knew that collaboration throughout the experience was critical to helping procurement teams make a greater impact within their agencies and that quickly became the heartbeat of our mission at Bonfire. I had the privilege of helping us achieve that mission by cultivating a culture of innovation and client support. 

Over the years the product has expanded immensely, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of procurement professionals from across the public sector, spanning all sizes of organizations and state agencies. I have seen firsthand the role that procurement teams play in improving the lives of citizens, students, and patients, and as effective partners in their organizations by providing strategic advice and critical know-how. You don’t have to look far to see how critical procurement teams are to the functioning of our society. Who can forget the rush for PPE, hand sanitizer, and special services a year ago at the start of the pandemic? 

As I take the helm at Bonfire, I will bring everything I’ve learned throughout this wonderful journey standing shoulder-to-shoulder with procurement teams to advance the innovation that will shape the field of public procurement tomorrow. With more and more procurement teams going through digital transformation journeys, there will be many opportunities to combine the wisdom of the masses and power of the public purse for public good—and Bonfire will be there to provide the best solutions. Our team at Bonfire is deeply motivated to make the world a better place by equipping procurement teams with modern technology. We are proud of the reputation we have built as a company that provides a world-class client experience, and we’re committed to continue building on this reputation. As the pandemic begins to fade away and our societies begin their march back to normalcy, I’m excited at what the future brings. 

About the author

Bonfire Chief Executive Officer - Omar Salaymeh

Omar Salaymeh | Bonfire Interactive

Omar Salaymeh is the CEO of Bonfire. Having worked with hundreds of public agencies to bring their procurement operations online, Omar believes that procurement teams are strategic drivers within their organizations, and he is passionate about enabling those professionals for success with technology. Omar has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (civil division), one of Canada’s highest civilian honours, for his work in co-founding Jumpstart Refugee Talent. Before becoming CEO, Omar oversaw the customer experience and product roadmap as Bonfire’s Chief Client and Product Officer.